WA man guilty of hostel children sex abuse

A 66-year-old man has been found guilty of sexually abusing children in his care 40 years ago at a hostel in Western Australia.

Martin James Cooper has been on trial in the WA District Court for the past four weeks charged with 43 offences against nine boys and girls, eight of whom were wards of the state, at a hostel between 1978 and 1983.

The jury deliberated for almost five days before convicting him on Wednesday of 30 counts but he was acquitted of 13 others.

Cooper's lawyer asked for his client to be released on bail until his sentencing hearing on Friday next week, saying he had physical health problems and also early onset dementia.

But prosecutors opposed bail, saying it was not appropriate for someone convicted of such serious offences including rape, and Judge Mark Herron rejected the request.

Judge Herron also told the jury counselling was available if they had been affected by the confronting details of the trial.